On the Sally Hawkins BAFTA snub

Posted by · 10:34 am · January 15th, 2009

Sally HawkinsOne of the biggest surprises from yesterday’s BAFTA nominations announcement was the exclusion of “Happy-Go-Lucky” across the board.  But at the very least, awards watchers might have expected a nod for Sally Hawkins, who has been tearing up the precursor circuit stateside and has a clear shot at nabbing an Oscar nomination one week from today.

Daily Telegraph reporter Anita Singh cornered BAFTA chairman David Parfitt on the issue, and here’s what he had to say:

It is always difficult. What’s most interesting is what came sixth? We have 200-300 films under consideration each year and there are probably 100 serious contenders, and we can only have five nominees. I’m sure that Sally got close, just as I’m sure Mike Leigh got close. But we can’t have everybody. Who would you drop out of the five? It’s hard, really hard.

We might be saying the same thing about a certain Caped Crusader in a week if this last minute surge for “Gran Torino” and/or “The Reader” proves to be a major spoiler.

An Oscar colleague is always telling me, “One day someone is going to write one of the greatest industry books of all time, listing the Oscar nomination and winner voting tallies throughout the years.”  That would make for fascinating reading indeed.  But do we really want to discover that “Chocolat” came in second to “Gladiator”‘s Best Picture win?

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17 responses so far

  • 1 1-15-2009 at 10:46 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    “Who would you drop out of the five? It’s hard, really hard.”

    Funny, I was just thinking it’s easy, really easy.

  • 2 1-15-2009 at 11:24 am

    hugo said...

    Unpleasant non BAFTA nomination, in his country, I think this perhaps many reasons, firstly desperately promote a double nomination for leading actress, then Kristin Scott Thomas is an actress beloved by the British Academy, I do not know that Angelina and the factor of “Brangelina” changelling which was well received in Britain.
    But when the British Academy wants someone he considers it and took into account Frieda Pinto and Dev Patel, their actions are considered better than Sally, not to say that Europeans did not like Happy go lucky because it was well received by the public in Berlin and winning.
    I really believe that by this evaluation in relation to Hawkins very painful and unjust and it is best to be silent BRITS members and not try to explain an unexplained reason and logic.

  • 3 1-15-2009 at 1:15 pm

    Lance said...

    I just watched this movie and LOVED it and really like the character Sally Hawkins played but I don’t think this was a difficult part to play – very few levels. I doubt there were very few days where she walked out to the set and thought, “wow, this is going to be a hard scene, I really hope I can pull this off.”

  • 4 1-15-2009 at 1:23 pm

    Edward L. said...

    ‘An Oscar colleague is always telling me, “One day someone is going to write one of the greatest industry books of all time, listing the Oscar nomination and winner voting tallies throughout the years.”’

    On the one hand I feel that I’d rather not know the voting results of the Oscars, because it would forever change my view of the awards.

    On the other hand, if that book came out…I don’t think I could resist!

  • 5 1-15-2009 at 1:38 pm

    John said...

    I have nothing against Sally Hawkins as a person. She seems ABSOLUTELY lovely.

    But if enough voters were like me (who couldn’t STAND Poppy), than I understand the snub, completely.

  • 6 1-15-2009 at 1:59 pm

    Chad said...

    Lance, you have no idea what acting is do you?

  • 7 1-15-2009 at 3:25 pm

    Sean said...

    Because her performance and the film are completely overrated and the critics just can’t decided between the two great dramatic performances of the year…Streep and Winslet

  • 8 1-15-2009 at 3:45 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    I understand that some viewers find the character difficult to warm to, but how anyone can think it’s an easy role to play is beyond me.

    For me, the delicate shifts in register as Poppy negotiates Scott’s anger — moving from flirtatious, near-antagonistic teasing to a genuine attempt at understanding as she loses her nerve — were as complex and tricky as any character arc this year.

    Add in the fact that she’s working without a defined script and is creating a significant portion of the material herself, and I think the performance is in a different league to that of, say, Streep. But that’s me.

  • 9 1-15-2009 at 4:52 pm

    Lance said...

    Chad – how about giving an opposing argument instead of just throwing out an insult. If you saw the performance, what was so difficult about it? Give some specific examples. If you read any interview with actors, it is a fact that actors are more afraid about pulling off some scenes than others. I don’t think there is any reason to try and be hurtful and rude on these message boards.

    Guy – Great points! But I think the reason that most people think that this is an easy role to play is that for most of the movie she is just being very happy. I work in a tourist area where many people pretend to be happy in their jobs everyday and it’s really not that hard. Of course that is oversimplifying her performance, but that is why many people will see this as an easy role to play – also we never learn or see the underlying reasons for why she tries so hard to be happy – there aren’t underlying conflicts in why she does what she does. She wants one thing, one objective – joy.

    I don’t think it was the easiest role to perform but I don’t think she had a level of difficulty that was on the same level as Kate Winslet’s role in “Revolutionary Road” or Anne Hathaway in “Rachel Getting Married” I agree with you, Guy, that her scenes with Scott were probably the most challenging especially the climactic scene near the end. She had to deal with a great amount of struggle and conflict in this scene. I highly respect her performance and what she did and yes it was a great performance, but when we are talking about the best of the best of the year, she isn’t in my top five – just my opinion.

  • 10 1-15-2009 at 4:58 pm

    Lance said...

    Chad – Also, I used to teach acting and my students won many state awards so I think I know at least a little something. I also used to act and until you teach it you really don’t understand what is difficult and what is easy.

  • 11 1-15-2009 at 10:02 pm

    Sophie said...

    I’m very sorry for Sally Hawkins, is so simple and so deserves desaires? SAG, BAFTA, etc, etc.
    This year we have done everything with it the prize, humiliated poor.
    But worst of all, it’s a great actress and I say this because I’ve seen their other work.
    Happy go lucky and Hawkins earned a little more respect.
    Very sad because I do not believe in her Oscar nomination (which unfair question after someone may believe that this can be nominated?) Will be the last to thrust fault. Humiliating end to what was one of the best performances of the year.

  • 12 1-15-2009 at 11:33 pm

    Glenn said...

    How can you teach acting without knowing the old expression that comedy is the hardest trick in the book. As you say you “work in a tourist area where many people pretend to be happy in their jobs everyday” yet the mere fact that you are able to TELL that they are merely acting proves they are not doing a good job at all that it’s much harder than it looks to sell yourself as well as Poppy does (and Poppy isn’t even pretending to be that happy).

  • 13 1-16-2009 at 1:29 am

    Chad said...

    I don’t need to cite any examples as to why the performance was hard. If I go onto a football message board and say, “I don’t think the tight end was very good since he didn’t have to score any touchdowns during that game”, I’m gonna get called out for not knowing my shit.

  • 14 1-16-2009 at 11:03 am

    Debbie said...

    Is that old phrase about comedy being hard really true? The academy and everyone else who votes on these awards doesn’t think so because thay rarely nominate any comedic performances.

  • 15 1-16-2009 at 1:03 pm

    Daniel said...

    That old phrase about dying is easy and comedy is hard is so stupid. Who even said it? It just depends on what comes naturally to you as an actor. I’m a working actor and the material that has scared the crap out of me, where I’ve had to dig the deepest and work the hardest on has been in drama.

  • 16 1-21-2009 at 7:53 am

    Mark said...

    When this film was originally released in the UK Sally Hawkins was consistently singled out as monotonous. We’re dismayed at the American critics, although Hawkins is talented and capable this is just bad